The Toronto Blue Jays have stormed into the Friday’s MLB trade deadline with the might of Mjolnir, making the rest of the teams in the league take notice. On July 28th, the Jays pulled off an improbable trade sending dugout and fan favorite Jose Reyes to the Colorado Rockies for the consensus #1 shortstop in the majors Troy Tulowitzki. Even to the casual fan of the Jays, this trade seems to be almost highway robbery in the favor of Canada’s ball club. Tulowitzki is ranked first in every statistical category for a shortstop. He has the best batting average on the Jays now, and he has the best on base percentage of any shortstop the Jays have had in a long while. Heck, he even lit things up in his debut against the Phillies on Wednesday, getting 3 RBI’s and blasting a homerun out of the park. Nothing about this player screams that this won’t work out, but only time will tell.
Then Alex Anthopoulos goes and makes another gigantic deal mere days later acquiring dominant ace pitcher David Price from the Detroit Tigers for some prospects. I am not saying that the prospects of P David Norris, P Matt Boyd, and Jairo Labourt won’t turn out to be great assets for the Tigers in the future, but to get an ace like Price to try and Juggernaut your way into the postseason takes some major stones and some masterful negotiating by the Jays GM. Price has a 2.53 ERA and is 9-4 on an underachieving Tigers team. Now put him on a team with the most potent offense in the league and you have a recipe for success. But why am I saying that these trades lead to a false hope for Jays fans?
Well, recent history shows that the Jays like to hover around .500 year-after-year. They start every season campaign saying that they are going to contend for the divisional title and then predictably they miss the playoffs with a mediocre record. Yes, adding these pieces is a huge step forward for this season, and yes, Troy Tulowitzki is locked up long term (6 more years) but Price is only a rental, and if the Jays miss the playoffs and continue their par play next year, then Jose Bautista is definitely going to walk once his contract is up. It does seem like the Jays are going all in for this season and possibly next year as well, but they are heading towards a cliff that they might fall off if they are not careful. If one looks at the Jays payroll, one would realize that most of their players contracts expire in a year or two. Josh Donaldson and Mark Buehrle are free agents at year’s end, although at least Donaldson is likely to resign with the team. Encarnacion, Dickey, Bautista, and Izturis are all free agents at the end of next year with at least a couple of them destined to be opponents afterwards. Of course the Jays will have Rogers money to try and keep the team in tact, but one has to believe that some of these players are inching closer to the end of their careers and want a legitimate chance at the World Series Championship. If the Jays fall flat on their faces at the end of this season, then Toronto becomes a less desireable team to stick with for current players and even less desirable for top-end free agents to come to the north. In talking to a Jays fan before writing this article, him and the rest of Jays nation have been dragged through the mud hoping that they will see their team in the promised land but fail to make it every time, who's to say this time is any different. The Blue Jays need to stop giving their fans false hope, because you keep hearing tens of thousands of baseball heart break every single year.
I am Smoke Stark and this has been my rant on the Blue Jays giving their fans false hope after two spectacular blockbuster traders. Thanks for reading, and, It’s Clobbering Time!